Closely examines whether or not Australia should adapt a Bill of Rights in their Constitution, looking at current protection of human rights in the legal system.
This paper looks at the current ability of the Australian legal system in protection of human rights. It includes an examination of the Constitution, High Court, Implied Rights, Common Law, The HREOC (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission), international law, and federal and state laws in Australia. The paper questions whether or not current protection is adequate, and whether a bill of rights is needed.
“Human rights refers to those rights described as “basic and essential to the existence of human beings”. These include a range of rights such as the right to life, freedom and security of person; the right to free speech; the right to a fair trial. Pressure for a bill of rights in Australia has been considerable over the last 10 years due to increased awareness of existing laws and to their inability to protect human rights, uncertainty about the High Court and interpretations of implied rights, and embarrassing challenges to the existing Australian laws. The Australian legal system has to be examined closely in order to conclude whether human rights are adequately protected. There are many means of protection in the Australian legal system, yet the actual effectiveness has to be examined as to what extent “little protection” is offered. There are many arguments in favor of the introduction of a bill of rights, however, if this would actually be appropriate for Australia in protection of human rights, and if the need is warranted, needs to be looked at in greater detail.”